Seasonal branding is a great way to take advantage of holidays and changing weather to market your company. Holidays drive a huge amount of traffic — and the bigger they are, the more customers you may get.
Doing seasonal branding well, however, can be a little tricky. Without the right prep and approach, it can fall flat, fail to encourage conversions or even disrupt the consistency of your company’s tone.
When you’re building your season branding plan this year, apply these strategies.
1. Build Some Drama
Most major holiday seasons have some major lead-up. There are a few different ways you can use this to your advantage.
One of HubSpot’s promotions for Cyber Monday used a countdown timer on a page filled with resources on how brands could get the most out of the holiday season.
HubSpot’s use of the timer is probably a bit of inversion of what your brand is likely to do as the holidays approach — advertise gifts to customers, rather than other businesses.
The principle, however, is the same — and the idea behind the timer is universally applicable. The holiday season requires a lot of planning and prep for people to get the best gifts possible for friends and family. At the same time, it’s also exciting and worth looking forward to. The timer is a simple way to take advantage of this lead-up period and build some excitement and drama before the holiday season.
2. Change Things up With Daily Offers
During the lead-up to a major holiday, you can swap out old offers for new ones every day.
Like the countdown timer, daily deals add a little bit of drama and flair to your seasonal branding. If a customer knows you’re revealing new specials every day, they have a reason to keep coming back — generating repeat engagement for your brand. This is more likely to create repeat customers, which are the foundation of just about every successful e-commerce business.
Planning several weeks’ worth of daily deals will also ensure you’re getting the most out of the build-up to a major holiday.
3. Promote Seasonal Products
Many holidays offer some great opportunities for specialty products and bundles related to the season.
These curated Mother’s Day listings of highly-relevant products from FTD are a great example of how you can use the season to provide some extra value to consumers. They’re looking for gift ideas and products — putting together a list of the best ones is a great way to deliver what they need.
Be sure to advertise these listings clearly. You can also go beyond creating lists of individual products. Holiday and seasonal bundles are effective at boosting sales because they encourage customers to consider items they may have overlooked by packaging them with more obvious options.
4. Go Beyond Holidays and the Four Seasons
Often, brands will limit their seasonal branding to major holidays. It’s great to take advantage of these big-traffic events, but you can really use any part of the year with distinct characteristics to market your brand.
Rather than advertise using a typical seasonal or holiday event, Banko Garage Doors focuses on hurricane season. It reminds people that they can make their homes more ready for strong wind and rain with the right preparations.
If you want to convince people to shop with your brand, take advantage of the unique benefits your products may offer at certain times of the year.
5. Keep Seasonal Branding Aligned With Your Normal Style
There are some dangers to seasonal branding. If you let it drift too far from your typical style, you risk overshadowing or contradicting your usual voice. Ideally, seasonal branding will reinforce and underscore your year-round message. This consistency will ensure customers stick around once the season is over and still feel like they’re working with the same company.
If your seasonal voice is too distinct from your brand during the rest of the year, the sudden shifts in tone may be confusing or even jarring.
6. Customize Guides and Product Lists
Simple changes to existing content can do a lot to drive holiday and seasonal traffic. If your website already hosts lists, bundles and product guides, you can subtly tweak them to fit the time of year.
These changes don’t need to be substantial — just updating the copy on an existing list to add some seasonal flair, for example, can make your website a lot more relevant to visitors. This will help your website appear in holiday searches and draw the attention of customers looking for gift ideas.
7. Offer Special Packaging Options
For many of the big holidays, we’re buying things for each other, not ourselves. Special packaging offers at checkout are a great option for people who plan on sending your items as gifts.
Even the little things — like customizable cards — can do a lot to add a personal touch to your holiday offerings.
These options will add a little extra labor on your end that you’ll need to budget for — but the difference they make can be massive.
Best Strategies for Seasonal Branding
With the right seasonal branding plan, you can take advantage of the major traffic holidays drive. These techniques are a great place to start if you want to build an effective strategy. Just be sure it lines up with your usual brand voice — otherwise, you risk a jarring or confusing customer experience once the holiday is over.
Lexie is a web designer and digital nomad. She enjoys kayaking with her goldendoodle and baking new cookie recipes. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.